Mitchell’s second straight double-double not enough
MACON, Ga. (Jan. 21, 2013) – In a quest to string together back-to-back wins for the second time this season, ETSU hung with the Mercer Bears for much of the game, but a late MU run was too much to overcome, resulting in a 79-64 decision in Mercer’s favor on Monday afternoon inside Hawkins Arena.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 4-10 overall and 2-5 in Atlantic Sun play, while Mercer improves to 11-7 overall and 5-2 in league action.
“I felt good where we were at halftime,” ETSU head coach Karen Kemp said. “We came out in the second half and hung right in there, I think we tied it a couple of times, but we could never regain the lead. We then made some crucial turnovers at crucial times and that gave them a little bit of momentum and we ended up losing by 15. We are really proud of Destiny Mitchell; she is back to where we need her to be. We just need to have someone else step up and be more consistent to help Destiny.”
ETSU started the contest much like the first period at Kennesaw State, scoring five unanswered points to begin the game. Mercer then answered and closed the gap before the Lady Bucs went on another run midway through the stanza, increasing their lead to as many as nine with 11:04 remaining. The Bears once again responded and tied the game at the 3:55 and 2:45 marks. Mercer took their first lead of the game at the 2:02 mark and the two teams traded baskets in the final two minutes. ETSU’s deficit was inflated to four, 41-37, to end the half. Eight Lady Bucs reached the scoring column in the period.
The first few minutes of the second half was a back and forth affair with Mercer keeping a steady lead throughout. The Lady Bucs battled back though and tied the game at the 13:52 mark. Back-to-back three-pointers from the Bears pushed the Lady Bucs’ deficit to four with 11 minutes remaining and that was the closest the contest would be for the remainder of the game. Over the final eight minutes, Mercer went on a 22-12 run which put the game out of reach for ETSU, resulting in a 79-64 defeat.
MU featured three players who scored 60 of their team’s 79 total points. The Bears had two 20-point scorers with Kendra Grant tallying 24 points and Precious Bridges with 23 points, while Alicia Williams contributed 13 points. Meanwhile, ETSU got another double-double from Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.), her second in as many games, with 17 points and 13 rebounds as well as nine points from Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) The Lady Bucs did have eight players reach the scoring column in total, but having only one double-figure scorer proved costly.
Shooting 46 percent from the floor and an impressive 47 percent from three-point range, Mercer also shot 67 percent from the free throw line and cashed in with 19 points off of the Lady Bucs’ 15 turnovers. The Bears also held advantages in fast break points (8-2) and bench points (23-20).
Meanwhile, ETSU again shot over 40 percent from the field at 43 percent, but shot 40 percent from behind the arc on only five attempts. The Lady Bucs were efficient from the charity stripe in shooting 71 percent and narrowly outrebounded the Bears, 39-37. The Lady Bucs were successful with points in the paint (34-22) and also cashed in with 15 second chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds.
The Lady Bucs return to Johnson City, Tenn. with Atlantic Sun action on Saturday, Jan. 26 when they welcome North Florida to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. Tip time is set for 2 p.m.
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